Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ice Skating at Pineland Farms, New Gloucester, Maine

If you are looking for a place to do some ice skating in Maine then consider Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine.  This outdoor recreational center offers two different ponds - click here for more info.  For more info on Pineland Recreational Area click here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Snowmobiling in Western Maine

Maine has lots of snowmobile destinations.  One of these is the Eutis / Stratton area located not far from the New Hampshire border northwest of Waterville, Maine.  The website of the Arnold Trail Snowmobile Club can provide info on this area.  A place to stay in this area is the Tranquility Lodge.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

100 Mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race

The 100 Mile Wilderness Sled Dog Race will take place in northern Maine (Greeneville area) on February 6, 2010.  Teams are made up of 12 huskies and they train for most of the year for this annual event.  Read more at

Monday, December 28, 2009

Brooklin, Maine: Wooden Boat Building Community

Brooklin, Maine is locate along the coast of Maine in the Blue Hills region.  It is home to many builders of wooden boats. The town is also the home of Woodenboat magazine. The writer Virginia Wright has posted a lengthy article about Brooklin, Maine.  If you are interested in boat building in Maine or coast villages in Maine then Brooklyn is worth a visit.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Saturday Night in the Old Port (Portland, Maine)

Old Port.  My wife and I decided to visit the Old Port district of Portland, Maine this weekend.  We wanted to stay overnight in a hotel in the Old Port (that is the working waterfront district) and experience some of the scenery, restaurants, and night life.  We picked the night after Christmas (Saturday, December 26th).  All our family visiting would be done, we had the weekend ahead of us, and we could use a little adventure (when you are in your 50s a night in Old Port is a big adventure for country folk!).

Hilton Garden Inn on Commercial Street.  As I travel a lot I have numerous free "award" nights available from about four different hotel chains.  We decided on the Hilton chain because there is a Hilton Garden Inn on Commercial Street right in the Old Port section and I belong to the Hilton HHonors program. So I burn't some award points (only 35,000) for one night (still got about 130,000 left).  We checked in early and got a room on the 5th floor overlooking the harbor; normally I wouldn't think they would offer a "Rewards Stay" a waterfront view - however the hotel wasn't exactly packed with guests due to being just after Christmas.  One concern we had prior to arrival was parking.  However, Portland has lots of parking garages available within walking distance of this hotel.  The hotel also has valet parking ($15.00 for parking plus tip for the valet); for ease we went with the valet parking.  From our room window it was a pretty scene of the waterfront and Casco Bay with the snowflakes coming down; not a heavy storm but enough to add atmosphere.  The hotel has a small pool, small fitness center, a lounge and bar, and a restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. The two pictures of the Old Port waterfront were taken from our hotel window.  (65 Commercial Street, 207-780-0780, Old Port Hilton Garden Inn)

Late Lunch.  Upon arrival (we had an early check-in) we settled in, unpacked, and said "Let's eat".  We went out for a walk to explore the area and soon came upon a small restaurant that looked inviting.  It was called the "Farmer's Table".  There were tables and a small bar; we chose the bar.  My wife had butternut squash soup, half of a Rueban sandwich and hot chocolate.  I had onion soup, half of a Rueban sandwich (the other half), and a Shipyard beer.  Not a bad lunch - but a little pricy.  The Farmer's Table has an upstairs as well which will afford quieter dining.  (The Farmer's Table, 205 Commercial Street, Portland, ME 207-347-7479).  The website for The Farmer's Table is:  (CORRECTION:  I have been informed by my wife who just read this post that the meal at the Farmer's Table was EXCELLENT!).

Walk-About.  We walked around after our late lunch.  It was quiet with a little snow falling.  Fore Street was nice to look at with its old historic looking facades, cobblestone street, restaurants, bars, and shops.  But soon we were back to the hotel to warm up and take a nap.

Dinner.  We had dinner (a late one at 8:00 pm, at least late for us) at a place called Ri Ra.  I had never heard of it.  It is an Irish Pub / Restaurant.  I looked it up online and it appears that it is a chain with ten other stores up and down the East coast.  What looked to be a small Irish pub from the outside (street view) is in fact a large pub (downstairs) and very nice restaurant with a water view upstairs.  My wife had a macaroni dish (very good) and I went with the lamb stew (delicious).  The service was great (thanks Michelle) and atmosphere was very nice as well - given the fireplace and view of the harbor through the very expansive glass windows.  Ri Ra was located just across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn - see the top picture - it is the two-story building.

Pub Scene.  Afterwards we went downstairs to the Ri Ra pub.  The entertainment started at 10:00 pm.  Ri Ra (according to its website) has entertainment from many different bands throughout the week.  This evening was a band called "High Beam".  Not my cup of tea; but I was easily 20 years older than the rest of the crowd listening.  After an hour my wife and I rolled our eyes and decided to walk off dinner.

A Late Evening Stroll.  The night scene in the Old Port is great if you are in your 20s or 30s.  Lots of places with live entertainment and even on a cold winter Saturday night the sidewalks were crowded with young folks going from bar to bar.  It was the night after Christmas so the lights were still up.  A nice place to be at.  Next time we come we will have to visit the Comedy Connection or perhaps find a jazz club.  But for now; back to the hotel so we can be in bed by midnight!

A Rainy and Windy Sunday Morning.  We woke up to a rainy day.  The wind was blowing and carrying the seagulls to and fro.  We didn't see too much boat activity on the water.  By this time all the sailboats are gone and anyone else isn't going out in bad whether unless they have to.  The island ferry was still on schedule and they could be seen docking and departing right from our hotel window.  We also saw the police boat and a few other utility type boats come and go on this cold Sunday morning.

Breakfast.  We skipped the walk around the neigborhood.  The wind was blowing and rain coming down.  Instead we went with the buffet breakfast and had omlettes to order.  Very good.

On the Road.  It is time to pack up and go.  Glad we went with the valet parking.  The staff will bring the car around to the front door for us where it will be sheltered from the elements as we load up.

Return Trip.  We had a wonderful time.  We plan on coming back again for another Saturday night stay.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate.  If you want to learn more about Portland, Maine click on lodging, dining and recreation for Portland.

New Year's Eve in Kennebunkport, Maine

The Kennebunkport Inn in Maine is offering a New Year's Eve package.   The weekend package includes a guest room, champagne, four-course dinner, and entertainment.  Click here for more information on the New Years Eve celebration package or on Kennebunkport.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New Years Eve in Maine: PineCrest Inn in Gorham

New Year's Eve is fast approaching.  If you are not spending it at home then consider spending it at a Maine inn.  Once such inn is the PineCrest Inn in Gorham, Maine.  Read an entry in the blog for the PineCrest Inn entitled "Kick Off to 2010" (Nov 20, 2009).

Friday, December 25, 2009

Nordic Skiing at Pineland Farms, Maine

Nordic skiing is big in Maine and there are many locations to go for this outdoor sport.  One of the best found in Maine is located at Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine.  Click here to learn more about the Pineland Recreational area.  Click here to visit Pineland Farms webpage on Nordic Skiing.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Online Guide to Western Maine's Best Ski Mountains

The University of Southern Maine's Free Press has published an online guide to some ski areas in western Maine.  See "A Guide to Western Maine's Best Ski Mountains", Free Press, December 7, 2009.  Click here for a listing of alpine ski resorts in Maine.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Snowmobile Maps of Maine for Garmin GPS offers snowmobile trail data overlaid on Google Maps. This is worth checking out if you snowmobile in Maine. See the link below:

Click here for more information on Maine maps.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Years Eve Package in Bangor, Maine

The Holiday Inn in Bangor, Maine is providing a New Years Eve Package for those wanting to stay overnight.  The stay includes a party with dinner buffet, open bar, dancing and more.  Reservations are required.  Learn more at the link below:

Maine Antique Digest

For those of you who are interested in shopping for antiques in Maine there is a source of info on antiques available for viewing or purchase.  It is called the Maine Antique Digest - an online resource with news, gallery advertisers and show and auction schedules.  The website follows:

Map of Maine Ski Areas

Are you looking for different locations of ski areas in Maine? The website has a map for determining where these ski resorts are. To view the map click on Ski Maine Map. Click here for more information about maps or skiing in Maine.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby (Jan 30-31, 2009 Maine)

The Long Lake Fishing Derby will take place in St. Agatha, Maine (it is way up there on the map).  It is sponsored by the town and the Black Bear Rod & Gun Club.  Read a recent online posting on this event entitled "Changes bolster Long Lake Ice Fishing Derby", Bangor Daily News, December 12, 2009.  Click here to learn more about ice fishing in Maine.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blog about Maine People, Places and Culture

If you are interested about life in Maine a good source of info on the topic are blogs.  There are many blogs about Maine.  One of these blogs is provided by Virginia M. Wright, an accomplished writer who presents a collection of articles about Maine people, places and culture.  See her blog here.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Maine Highlands

The region of Maine sometimes referred to as "The Maine Highlands" encompasses the northern central portion of Maine.  It includes the area around Bangor, Katahdin, Moosehead Lake, Sebasticook Valley, and Lincoln Lakes.  There is lots to do there at all times of the year.  In the winter many outdoor sports activities abound to include ice fishing, alpine skiing, nordic skiing, snowmobiling, and more.  There is a website that can provide lots of information on this region called The Maine Highlands.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Skiing in the Rangeley Lakes Region of Maine

Ski season in Maine is upon us and one of the super areas to go skiing in Maine is in the Rangeley Lakes Region.  There just happens to be a website loaded with information on skiing in this area.  See Alpine Skiing in Rangeley, Maine.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ice Fishing Is Around the Corner in Maine

Ice fishing is around the corner in Maine.  We just got to wait for the lakes and ponds to freeze.  Read a recent blog about a visit to Jacks Traps by a blogger from Central Maine.  See "A Part of Maine Ice-Fishing History", Random Digressions Blog, December 12, 2009.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Maine Chickadee Nest: A blog on Maine Life, Scenery, and Shopping

I recently came across a cute little blog with nice photos called the Maine Chickadee Nest.  The blog is by a college student who is studying in North Carolina but hopes to relocate to Maine.  Click here to view other blogs about Maine.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Norway Christmas in Maine - Maine Nordmenn Julefest

Christmas is celebrated around the world.  Many cultures and nationalities here in the United States look back to their homeland for their unique way of celebration.  An organization known as the Maine Nordmenn holds their annual Julefest in early December.  This year it was held in Topsham, Maine at the Sky-Hy Convention Center.  Read an online article about this event entitled "Maine Nordmenn Julefest",, December 2, 2009.

The History of Maine Skiing - Presentations by The Ski Museum of Maine

The Ski Museum of Maine provides a presentation of the history of skiing in Maine.

"Scott Andrews, a writer and researcher with the Ski Museum, will survey the entire history of Maine skiing, from its beginnings with Swedish immigrants in Aroostook County in 1870 to the present day. Using dozens of historic photographs, Mr. Andrews will cover such varied subjects as the winter carnivals of the 1920s and 1930s, early rope tows in western Maine (including one in Bethel), and the growth of today's large-scale resorts. He will also recall a few skiing-related failures, such as the expensive saga of Evergreen Valley in Lovell/Stoneham. Key personalities in Mr. Andrews' talk will include Olympic athletes, plus other men and women who built skiing from a fringe sport for a hardy few into today's multi-million dollar industry . ."
Click here to view the schedule of presentations. Click here to learn more about skiing in Maine.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook for Cundy's Harbor, Maine

Cundy's Harbor, Maine may be a small fishing village off the beaten path but they now have a Facebook account!  See Facebook for Cundy's Harbor.  It was recently established (November 2009) but I am sure it will grow.  Click here for more information about Cundy's Harbor, Maine.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Ready for Christmas in a Tiny Island Community in Maine

Christmas in Maine on an island has its own unique character.  The activities (shopping, gift giving, cooking, searching for Christmas trees, etc.) are different as well as the memories.  Read an online column about Maine island Christmases in "Cranberry Report: Parallel Christmases", The Working Waterfront, December 13, 2009.

L.L. Bean in Freeport, Maine: Selling a Way of Life

A recent posting at the Maine Outdoor Journal ( provides us a glimpse of the business end of the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine.  The article provides a glowing account of the well-known outdoors and sporting store that has stood in the center of Freeport for many, long years.  Read "A tip of the hat to Leon L. and the folks at Orvis", December 13, 2009.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Narraguagus Snowmobile Club, Cherryfield, Maine

The Narraguagus Snowmobile Club is located in Cherryfield, Maine.  Cherryfield is northeast of Acadia National Park and east of Bangor.  The club was organized in 1969 and has been in existance since then.  The club has been very active in the community and does a lot of work setting up and maintaining trails in their vicinity of Maine.  Click here for information about snowmobiling in Maine.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Plan Next Year's ATV Trip in Maine Now

There is a Maine resort that provides lodging, ATV trails, and other amenities to ATV riders.  The Forks Resort Center in Maine is located on Route 201 about a 2 1/2 hour drive north of Portland, Maine.  You can learn more about it by reading an online article "Maine Resort Provides Access to 1,300 Miles of Trails", ATV Source, December 11, 2009 or visiting the resort website at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Maine 101: Everything You Wanted to Know about Maine (book)

If you are looking for a book about Maine then consider "Maine 101" by Nancy Griffin.  This is a fun book loaded with statistics and facts.  Read more in an online article about the book on The Working Waterfront.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Maine and Pottery Blog

From time to time I like to highlight other bloggers from Maine.  This is an attempt to share a little about Maine that is more than where the best spots are for finding lighthouses, hiking trails, or hotels along the coast.  Maine is made up of a diverse lot of people and we have our share of craftspersons and artists.  The link below will take you to one such person - a pottery artist living in Lubec, Maine.  She does some nice writing about life in Maine, the arts, and has wonderful pictures of art.  Visit the "Clay, Fiber, and Other Musings" blog, by Shanna Wheelock - The Easternmost Potter in the United States.  Click here for a listing of other blogs about Maine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Building Bike Trails in Maine

A recent online article is a question and answer session with an avid trail biker who spends a lot of his spare time planning, coordinating, and building bike trails in central Maine.  Brian Alexander is a member of the Central Maine chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (see  Read about this man who has advanced trail bike riding in the state of Maine in "Man with a bike, and a biking plan", Maine Outdoor Journal, December 6, 2009.  Click here to learn more about biking in Maine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Small Ski Hills of Maine Offer Lots of Outdoor Winter Fun

Read an online article about skiing the smaller ski hills of Maine. These venues offer inexpensive family fun. See "Smaller hills can offer big, quirky fun", Maine Outdoor Journal, October 11, 2009. Click here for more information about skiing in Maine.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Wood Island Lighthouse in Biddeford Pool, Maine Being Renovated

The Wood Island Lighthouse in Biddeford Pool, Maine is being renovated.  Read more in "Renovation of Historic Maine Lighthouse Continuing",, December 1, 2009.  Read more about Maine lighthouses.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine

The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine is presenting a new exhibit called "Elegantly Attired: Victorian Apparel and Accessories in Coastal Maine".  Read an article about this here by the Bangor Daily News (Nov 28, 2009).  Click here to learn more about museums in Maine.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Festival of Trees in Portland, Maine by Portland Symphony Orchestra

The Portland Symphony Orchestra will be starting a new holiday tradition called the "Festival of Trees".

PORTLAND, Maine – The Portland Symphony Orchestra (PSO) is delighted to announce a new Portland holiday tradition, the Festival of Trees. A display of beautifully decorated Christmas trees will fill the lobby of Merrill Auditorium during this holiday season, December 7 through 21. The lobby of Merrill will be transformed into an enchanting winter wonderland by local companies who have donated the trees and their creative talents to provide a captivating, festive atmosphere. Each tree will have its own unique style, all charming and inspirational.
Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

York, Maine Art Association to Hold Craft Show on Dec 11-12, 2009

The York Art Association will hod a holiday fine crafts show on December 11-12, 2009.  The show will take place at the York Art Association location on 394 York Street, York, Maine.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Maple Syrup Symposium in Maine Dec 3-4, 2009

A maple syrup symposium will be held in Skohegan, Maine on December 3-4, 2009. The event is sponsored by the International Maple Syrup Institute.  This is the sixth annual maple grading school held and is a two-day course.  Read more in "Maple syrup school gives Maine taste of respect", Portland Press Herald, December 1, 2009.  Read more about maple syrup in Maine.

Blog About Portland, Maine - "Orginal Portland"

Here is an interesting blog about Portland, Maine. It doesn't have much to do with tourism but if you are a Portlander (is there such a term?) it has items of interest commenting on doings and news of Portland, Maine.  See

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Portland Holiday Arts & Crafts Show II (December 12, 2009)

Portland, Maine will be the site of a Holiday Arts & Crafts Show by the United Maine Craftsmen. It will be held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the USM Sullivan Gym.